Showing posts with label Poverty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poverty. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Monday, October 06, 2014

A Decline in Poverty

In 2013, poverty declined in the United States and it went down faster for children which is very good news.

It was the first meaningful decline in poverty for children since 2000, and for the overall population since 2006.The declines are due largely to an improving job market, which has lifted the living standards not only for the newly employed but also for their children.

“Every child in this country matters. So while it is significant that child poverty decreased in this single year, the real takeaway is that it demonstrates poverty is not unsolvable,” Hannah Matthews of CLASP, a nonprofit group seeking to improve conditions for low-income people, wrote after the Census Bureau released the new numbers.

Obviously, there is a great deal of room for improvement but this news is most welcome!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Mocking Poor People? Enter Jon Stewart!

Stewart does a great job here showing how the logical fallacy of misleading vividness is the foundation for most arguments from the Right. He also reminds us who the real recipients are of welfare in this country:)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Simple Math

Check out this piece on how Utah is set to end homelessness. The answer?

Government spending.

Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 78 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015. How’d they do it? The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000. Each participant works with a caseworker to become self-sufficient, but if they fail, they still get to keep their apartment.

Huh. Whouda thunk it? Simple math...

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Your Lack Of Insight And Compassion Make You Ugly

Check out this piece from addictinginfo. Not only do the images discussed lack compassion and insight but they really show how self loathing the Right is today. I think the key to understanding why conservatives behave the way they do is to look at their relationship with their parents and how poorly the have developed as human beings after that.

Make sure you follow these four steps if you lose your job!

1. If / when you lose your job, be sure to sell all your nice electronics and luxury goods immediately and make sure you are always dressed well in public (but not too well, because then you are clearly not in need of any financial assistance and will be judged for not immediately selling all your nice clothing, too). 

2. Cover up your tattoos, or people will snark that you are spending your welfare money on body art, even if you have had those tattoos for years, or you have a friend who is a tattoo artist who did them for free. 

3. Are your shoes nice? Better not wear them in public, especially while at the grocery store paying for food with food stamps, because you MUST have somehow magically converted those food stamps into enough expendable income to buy those shoes. Never mind that they were a gift, or you bought them years ago, or that they actually have huge holes in the soles and tattered insoles because you can’t afford to replace them. 

4. As a bonus, be sure not to have a job with flexible hours or work from home or work as a stay-at-home parent, because judgmental people will be on your ass and assume you are on welfare based on limited or non-existent evidence (even if you are not) and whine bitterly about having to contribute to social safety nets for the needy. That is right: You don’t even have to be on welfare at all, you can simply be out in public with your kid(s) during normal business hours and have total strangers assume you are on government assistance if you don’t look prosperous. Isn’t that cute?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

They Have More Money

Interesting piece over at the Atlantic about who gives more to charity...the wealthy or the poor. The answer is surprising.

One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income. The relative generosity of lower-income Americans is accentuated by the fact that, unlike middle-class and wealthy donors, most of them cannot take advantage of the charitable tax deduction, because they do not itemize deductions on their income-tax returns.

While it's true and quite obvious that the wealthy give a larger dollar amount, the do not give as much percentage wise, as the less fortunate. Add in the fact that the poorer folks don't get a tax deduction and it seems even more generous. But why?

However, some experts have speculated that the wealthy may be less generous—that the personal drive to accumulate wealth may be inconsistent with the idea of communal support. Last year, Paul Piff, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, published research that correlated wealth with an increase in unethical behavior: “While having money doesn’t necessarily make anybody anything,” Piff later told New York magazine, “the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people.” 

They are, he continued, “more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes.” Colorful statements aside, Piff’s research on the giving habits of different social classes—while not directly refuting the asshole theory—suggests that other, more complex factors are at work. In a series of controlled experiments, lower-income people and people who identified themselves as being on a relatively low social rung were consistently more generous with limited goods than upper-class participants were. Notably, though, when both groups were exposed to a sympathy-eliciting video on child poverty, the compassion of the wealthier group began to rise, and the groups’ willingness to help others became almost identical.

Hmm...perhaps the wealthy are out of touch?

I think that people that have less money give more because they know what it's like to be poor. Perhaps they didn't have a lot of money in recent memory and can completely relate to the hardship. And the wealthy don't give as much because...well...that's why they are wealthy.

They have more money.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013


A wonderful message to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. We are doing His works and greater than these!


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Planet Earth

For all of my crabbing on here, the world is actually getting to be a much better place in which to live. There's a lot of good news out there and if are diligent, you can find it. The best place to start is The Christian Science Monitor as they are usually very unbiased and shy away from sensation. The last issue, for example, had a plethora of good news and I'm going to be highlighting some of their stories over the next week or so. This, by the way, keeps my promise to put up more world news content as well:)

The first one that caught my eye was this story on poverty. I had to read it twice before I believed that it was real. Extreme poverty in the world has been...cut by half?!?

In fact, the rate of decline in extreme poverty everywhere in the world has more than doubled in the past decade, Ravallion says. That's after adjusting for China, whose sheer size makes it an outlier.

Simply amazing.

Now, the article does go on to say that there is still a great deal of poverty in the world but we are heading in the right direction. With the changes seen in China (as noted in the article), the direction we are heading as a world is very, very positive. In fact, I think the prediction that Bono made a year or two ago is going to come true: within 50 years, there will be no more hunger on this planet. Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, there will be no going back to "Live Aid" days. (Note: this includes climate change, incidentally, which is actually quite "foreseen" and will be eventually dealt with in an appropriate fashion).

So, why has this happened? Well, mainly, it's because of us. Our country has spread prosperity around the world in the form of liberal economic theory. Communism is gone and capitalism and free markets are spreading everywhere. If countries don't want to be a part of this (and there aren't many left out there), they will find themselves on the outside. Our new world certainly is not perfect and we have had some growing pains but the increased prosperity has no other explanation. Everyone on the planet wants an iPhone.

And, as the countries of the world begin to need less aid, we are going to see greater wealth in the Global North countries. In fact, my children will likely live in a time where there will be no delineation between the Global North and the Global South.

It's simply going to be Planet Earth.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Not In A Million Years

When you live in a world that begins and ends with material gains, generally speaking, you ascribe that perception to others. Take, for example, the erroneous notion that the anger directed at the wealthy of the world is based on envy. It usually brings people like this out of the woodwork.

"If you're jealous of those with more money, don't just sit there and complain," she said in a magazine piece. "Do something to make more money yourself -- spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working."

Yes, that's right. All poor people just laze around all day smoking and drinking. What an idiot.

I think I speak for many when I say, Gina, that there is no fucking way that I am jealous of you. I wouldn't trade places with you in a million years. To begin with, your physical appearance is a mirror image of your personality-mean, ugly, and obese. Further, your words are the living embodiment of sloth and greed so it's really not surprising you think the way you do.

And getting to be the richest woman in the world must have been hard work., eh? Oh, wait. No, it wasn't as you inherited all your wealth. According to her, though, "There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others."

So why are people still poor?

Rinehart blamed what she described as "socialist," anti-business government policies, and urged Australian officials to lower the minimum wage and cut taxes.

Oh, right...that:) Playing the victim card again, are we?

People like Gina Rinehart fail to grasp the very simple notion that there many people who don't live for material gains. It's never bothered me that people have more money than I do. I have a great wife, wonderful children, great friends and , most importantly of all, good health in my family. Obviously, one needs a stable job and some money for a rainy day but beyond that, life is about so much more than having material things.

The failure of the Right to see that they are projecting their own perceptions of greed, envy and pettiness onto others is truly one of the finest examples of cognitive dissonance in modern times.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Blessed Are The Poor

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least among you, you did not do for me.' (Matthew 25:41-45)

The above is but one example of the many instructions in the Bible on how God wants us to serve the poor. It's not just the New Testament either. Deuteronomy 24:14 tells us: "Do not take advantage of a hired man who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother Israelite or an alien living in one of your towns." Psalm 12:5 says: "Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the LORD, I will protect them from those who malign them."

And Psalm 41:1-2 states: "Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes."

In looking at all of these teachings, I'm wondering if Newt Gingrich has picked up a Bible recently or, quite frankly, has ever read one. Take a look at this.

Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and one around them who works? Are you fucking kidding me? I can't believe that we are still on this crap. What is it about this country and disdain for poor people? They're all lazy, I guess, and they don't teach their kids good values. They're poor for a reason, dammit, and how dare they stink up our country with their poor BO.

Some have suggested that Newt's comment was a dog whistle for bigots (the lazy blacks who don't work). Based on this line from a recent comment, they may be right.

What I am suggesting is that culture matters. And black culture, at this point in history, does not celebrate academic achievement.

I will never understand this mindset. I'd like to try to give folks like this the benefit of the doubt and simply say that they are massively tone deaf but perhaps I'm being too kind. This view, illustrated quite well by Newt Gingrich, is so antiquated that it makes me physically ill. What fucking country do these people live in? They claim to be Christian but what goes through their minds when they read this passage?

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.